Bizarre Facts The Flat-Earthers Believe

This might blow your mind a little: some people seriously think the Earth is flat. It's true! They argue about it on the internet a lot, creating videos and Web 1.0 websites and Microsoft Paint-level graphics showing how sunsets are just a trick of the eye and Freemasons faked the moon landing. It's a consphereacy.

And if that pun made you cringe, it's only going to get cringier from here. Below are some insane things many of these so-called "Flat Earthers" actually believe.

Antarctica is actually a giant ice wall surrounding Earth

Flat Earthers believe Antarctica is actually a giant, 150-foot-tall, Games of Thrones-style ice wall surrounding the entire Earth, which is actually disc-shaped and flat. This ice wall keeps all the world's water from spilling over the side and falling into ... what, exactly? The tunnel Emmet fell into in The Lego Movie that landed him in Will Ferrell's house? The back of the giant turtle keeping the planet afloat? They honestly have no idea: Flat Earthers think you can fall off the Earth, but since no one's ever made it past the ice wall, it's impossible to say what would happen if you actually did. The Flat Earth Society's Frequently Asked Questions page hints at the wall's greater purpose, claiming "we do know" the wall "helps protect us from whatever lies beyond." So, White Walkers, then.

To be clear, this isn't a fringe theory within Flat Earthism. Daniel Shenton, president of the Flat Earth Society, told the Guardian in 2010 an airplane that flew over the Antarctic ­ice wall "would drop from the sky, and from the planet." Why? Because the Flat Earth is rapidly moving upwards, like a massive elevator, which brings us to ...

There's no gravity

That's right: many Flat Earthers also think there's no such thing as gravity. In a phenomenon they refer to as "Universal Acceleration," the Earth is instead constantly moving upward, producing an effect akin to gravity. Flat Earthers say they have to reject Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation and the Theory of Relativity, as those ideas are "incompatible with the Flat Earth Model because it requires a large, spherical mass pulling objects uniformly toward its center." Yeah, take that, Einstein! You ... Einstein.

So what causes Universal Acceleration? Magic? Basically! Flat Earthers say the Earth could be lifted by "dark energy, an unknown form of energy which, according to globularist physicists, makes up about 70% of the universe. The origin of this energy is unknown." That "about 70%" claim is absolutely maddening, isn't it? It's a magical dark energy pushing us forever upward into the unknown, and oh yeah: the universe is comprised of 68.8% of it. It's like a domino effect of kook: if you claim the Earth is flat, pretty soon you're rejecting gravity, building giant ice walls in your mind, talking about dark energy, and then what? Denying the existence of brunch? Where does it all end?

Photographic evidence cannot be trusted

This line of thinking is where it all ends. Claiming that all photographic evidence is bollocks, as Flat Earthers do, is where falling down the Flat Earth rabbit hole will get you. The president of the Flat Earth Society thinks "special effects" are to thank for images of the spherical Earth from space, and the FES FAQ page flatly says "photographic evidence is not to be trusted." This must be why no one ever bothered to take any snapshots of the giant, 150-foot ice wall, right? No one would believe it anyway.

Flat Earthers want to have it both ways, too, regarding these newfangled special effects and high-tech cameras. Not only can an image be manipulated, but even an unmolested photo can misrepresent the truth. As the FES puts it: "Quirks of modern cameras will cause a picture to distort with little or no apparent altercation." They also blame the "bent glass" of airplane windows and general "atmospheric conditions" outside on why every photograph ever from an aircraft showing a curved horizon exists. It's like closing your eyes, sticking your fingers in your ears, and going LA LA LA when your boss tells you you're fired. But unlike keeping a job, there's nothing to be gained from trying as hard as you can to convince yourself the world is shaped like a frisbee.

Satellites are fakes meant to fool us

So what of satellites? The FES says, on a different FAQ page, "it is generally agreed upon that they are not actual satellites but pseudolites or stratollites [space balloons] put there to fool us." Unfortunately, that's the closest thing to an "official" word on the matter, but theories, of course, abound. Some say they're towers. Others say they do indeed exist, but orbit in the "swirling whirlpool" of "aetheric wind" above the Flat Earth created during Universal Acceleration. If you understand what that means, you're either a Flat-Earther or a right-thinker in desperate need of a few dozen new hobbies.

Other Flat-Earthers you really don't want to get cornered at a dinner party by say they're "pure science fiction" conceived "by Freemason science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke in 1945." That's another fun fact about Flat Earthers: plenty of Freemason/Illumanti conspiracy overlap. Which brings us to:

All astronauts have been bribed or coerced

Here's where things really go off the rails in Flat Earther Land. An FAQ regarding space travel gets right to the good stuff: "The most commonly accepted explanation of this is that the space agencies of the world are involved in a conspiracy faking space travel and exploration." What about our astronaut heroes? They've been "bribed or coerced into their testimonies." OK, we'll bite. How do you pay to bribe all these astronauts? Well, "using only some of their funding to continue to fake space travel saves a lot of money [for NASA] to embezzle for themselves," of course. The less you have to prove, the easier reasons become.

Allegedly born during the Cold War, "The Conspiracy," as Flat Earthers creatively call it, is meant "to fake the concept of space travel to further America's militaristic dominance of space." Yep: The Conspiracy claims we've never been to space, and NASA only pretends we have to continue our dominance of space (the same space we've never been to, remember), which also involves faking that we have nukes up there. As for the images of a round Earth, NASA created them because they're uneducated and actually think the world is round. The big silly-billies.

There is literally no end to Flat Earth

One of the wildest, relatively fringy Flat Earth theories states that not only is the Earth a flat plane, but it literally goes on forever. Called the Davis model, after American Flat Earth Society President John Davis, it suggests the Earth "stretches horizontally forever" with an "infinite plane of exotic matter somewhere below the disk, pushing in the opposite manner of traditional gravity."

Wait—now gravity's real? Yep, the Davis model conveniently allows for "finite gravity." The FES does warn, however, the Davis model "is a recent theory, and is in progress." That's comforting, until you learn another one of Davis's nascent theories states "the moon gives off its own light due to bio-luminescent life." So that makes Davis ... what, a Glowing Moon Truther, as well? Where does he find the time?

The Sun and Moon circle over the Earth like vultures

So if the Earth is a flat disk, what's up with the Sun and Moon? The trusty FES FAQ states they rotate around the North Pole like hands on a watch, or vultures over the carcass of critical thinking. The sun also varies its proximity to the North Pole throughout the year, somehow, giving us our seasons.

Don't think too hard about any of this. Remember: dark energy is pushing the flat, possibly infinite plane we call Earth forever upward. Antarctica is defending us from something, but dunno what. NASA was created for the sweet, imaginary space nukes. There's no gravity, probably? So don't hurt your brain trying to figure out the physics of all this. The Flat Earthers sure aren't!

Because the Earth is flat, the moon landing was fake

We've already covered "The Conspiracy" to fake space nukes, which is nutty enough, but Flat Earthers appear to have a special ire for the Moon Landing, which makes sense. It's one thing to deny the existence of satellites, or say NASA is lining astronaut pockets so they continue to do nothing all day, but the Moon Landing complicates things quite a bit. There's just so much evidence to ignore!

Former International Flat Earth Research Society President Charles K. Johnson, in particular, thought the Moon Landings were faked "by Hollywood studios" with scripts by—here we go again —noted Freemason Arthur C. Clarke. That guy gets around. Over at the FES wiki, they run down the usual Moon Landing hoax checklist, pointing out unusual buggy tracks and boot prints. Elsewhere, Flat Earthers come straight out and declare NASA could not reach the Moon because of the flatness of the Earth. Rather than admit it, NASA decided to cover it all up, which continues today "due to the role Science plays in our ruling government."

Yep: the federal government loves science so much. That why spending on science-related research and development, as a share of the GDP, was a whopping 0.78 percent in 2014. Or was it?

The Bible says the Earth is flat

Pseudoscience expert, and former president of the National Center for Science Education, Robert Schadewald says "The Bible is, from Genesis to Revelation, a Flat-Earth book." If you're looking for Biblical "evidence" the Earth is flat, Schadewald says it's easy to find, which makes sense, because it's "historically consistent."

Christian Flat Earthers are a vocal subset of the group, but their numbers are surprisingly low, as Paul Rosenberg argues for Salon, especially considering the Bible "is far, far clearer in supporting a Flat Earth than it is in opposing abortion, much less birth control." There are sites such as Christian Flat Earth Ministry, where an anonymous blogger argues that a flat Earth is proof God loves us: "When people wake up and find out such things that Earth is flat and stationary (as the Bible says); that the Sun moves and not the Earth (as the Bible says); that there is a firmament (dome) above (as the Bible says), and that Heaven is above us (as the Bible says), then knowing that we truly are the center of God's creation, perhaps people will treat each other better." But then again, he also says "the Jews" are "keeping us poor, sick and ignorant," which pours a whole bunch of cold Ice Wall water on his little Flat Earth remix of "Kumbaya."

The Earth isn't a planet

This might be the forehead-slappiest claim Flat Earthers make: the Earth isn't a planet at all. Here's the "logic": if the Earth is a disc, why are all the other planets spherical? If you allow yourself to believe not all the images and photographs of our universe are faked, you have to wonder, why is Earth so different? It's because the Earth is a different kind of celestial body: a perfect, ice-wall bound, gravity-lacking, dark energy-fueled special snowflake.

That's the ultimate conclusion of Flat Earthers, really: the Earth, and thus all Flat Earthers, are at the center of the Universe. It's just a mass psychogenic illness with extreme solipsism as the primary symptom, with a soupçon of biblical literalism, anti-Semitism, and willful ignorance on top.

Either that, or it's all a big joke. Has anyone checked Snopes?